The future of the Internet, and social media, in particular, is video. In particular, live streaming video. This explains the skyrocketing popularity of Facebook Live, YouTube Live, and Instagram TV. People like spontaneity and realism. So, since I have books to sell and a streak of sadism running through me, I decided to start Facebook Live streaming. Oh boy, was that ever an experience!
My first attempt totally flopped when I discovered later that the audio had malfunctioned. So the title of this article is a bit ironic since I did mess it up. But hey, I fell flat on my face so you don’t have to. You’re welcome.
Start Facebook Live Streaming & Be an Online Star
Facebook Live streaming is basically the same as a live TV show. You appear on an online video screen and you start talking to your followers. While you are broadcasting, you can see who is coming online and they can send you messages in the comments section. Kind of like a radio phone-in show.
And since the stream is live, there is no possibility to edit the show so everything is spontaneous. The potential for a massive embarrassing calamity is there but so is the potential to really connect with your audience. Having now successfully redone the first failed stream, I realized that I hugely enjoyed the process.
But before I started, I was extremely nervous. I was sweating and I suddenly realized what stage fright felt like. People were out there waiting for me to appear. What if my brain shut down and I didn’t know what to say? But I quickly realized that with a rough script outline and a few Hail Mary’s, it was easier than I thought.
Go to the Page Where You Want to Do Your Live Video
Facebook Live streaming can be done on your profile, a page, or a group. Go to the page where you want to launch your broadcast and in the status update box, you will see an option for “Live video”.
Having clicked on that, you will now be taken into the live streaming area, where you will be asked to grant Facebook permission to your webcam camera and microphone.
It is worth investing in a good microphone if you intend to do this on a regular basis. I have the Blue Yeti microphone and it was worth every cent.
Your face will now pop up on the screen and there are options you now need to decide on.
Stream Now or Schedule for Later?
Facebook Live gives you two options — begin your stream immediately or schedule it for a future date.
There are advantages to both. Streaming immediately is more spontaneous but scheduling in advance gives you the chance to advertise the show and make sure people actually turn up to watch it. There’s nothing more embarrassing than starting a show to an empty room. Just ask any newbie standup comedian on their first night.
When your face appears on the screen, you will see two options at the top: Camera and Connect. To schedule your show in advance, you need to use the Connect option. But since that’s the option with the most hoops to jump through, let’s look at starting the show immediately.
On the Camera tab, look to the right of the screen and you will see some details that need filling out. It’s nothing difficult. Simply specify which page you want the stream to appear on, add a title and description, then at the bottom of the screen, click “Go Live“.
There will then be a countdown from three on the screen and you will be on.
Once you are finished, click the button to end the stream and you will be told you are off the air. The show will then be saved and placed on your page for people to watch again. You can also find it in the Videos section of your page where you can download it — which I did for my YouTube page.
Scheduling for Later
Now, let’s looks at the process of scheduling your stream for later.
On the Connect tab, you will be immediately faced with lots of technical jargon and options. But you can honestly ignore all of that. Just look to the right again and you will see the same options as the Camera tab. The only difference is that, at the bottom of the screen, you will also see a Schedule button.
After choosing the page for the stream, and adding the title and description, click the Schedule button. You will then be asked to specify a date and time in the future, as well as the option to upload a custom image. I made one in five minutes on Canva.
When the time comes to do your show, just go back to the same video screen and make sure your camera is on. When the time comes, the camera will kick in and your show will start.
How Did it Work Out?
See for yourself. This is how my second attempt went:
Have you done Facebook Live streaming? If so, how did your first one do? A huge success or a huge mess? And if you have had some success and have any tips, please let us know!